Posted On: June 4, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

Illinois Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawsuit Invokes “Dead Man’s Act” on Defendant’s Behalf

A man who was seriously injured in a 2006 Illinois truck accident while riding as a passenger in a motor vehicle is suing the estate of the deceased for his personal injuries. Russell Martin was riding in the car driven by David Groves on the night that the latter collided with a tractor-trailer driven by Jose Velazques. Also named as truck accident defendants are Proctor and Gamble manufacturing, trucker Jose Velazques, and his employer.

Now, however, the attorneys representing Julia Groves, who is the special representative of the estate of David Groves, have invoked the “Dead Man’s Act” to prevent evidence that Groves may have been driving drunk at the time of the catastrophic truck crash from being presented at the personal injury trial.

The Dead Man’s Act keeps conversations and certain incidents involving deceased from being used as evidence and may be applied decedents in Illinois civil lawsuits that were filed after 1973. The act is related to the premise that dead people cannot contest evidence used against them. However, evidence from a disinterested third party can be brought in.

The remaining defendants in the truck accident lawsuit want the judge to reconsider her decision to allow the act to keep certain evidence out of court. They says that there is outside evidence that Groves may have been drunk, including blood alcohol serum tests performed at a hospital after the accident. They say that this fits the description of evidence coming from a disinterested third-party.

Illinois Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawsuits
There are many reasons why Illinois truck accidents happen. However, determining cause and liability takes time, experience, hard work, and the right team of qualified experts that know to examine the evidence and trace responsibility back to the party or parties that caused the deadly catastrophic Illinois truck collision.

Common causes of truck crashes:

• Driver negligence
• Driver inexperience
• Drunk driving
• Distracted driving
• Overloaded trucks
• Defective truck or truck parts

'Dead Man's Act' keeps witnesses mum in Illinois civil trials, The Record, June 3, 2009

Dead Man's Act, Justia

Related Web Resource:
Truck Driver Regulations, FMCSA

Should you choose to pursue recovery from an Illinois truck crash case, you should do so with the help of an experienced Chicago truck accident lawyer.

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